Yosemite National Park Journals

Heaven on Earth

An April 2002 trip to Yosemite National Park by Ischyros

Yosemite Valley Photo, Yosemite National Park, California More Photos
Quote: I lived in Yosemite for 6 months and love the place! I want to help anyone that needs it, so if you have a question, just ask!

Heaven on Earth

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Overview

Yosemite Valley Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
It's hard to create a list of highlights for Yosemite. Everything is a highlight! You will have to make sacrifices though. Winter means low flowing waterfalls, the high country is closed because of snow, but the crowds are low. Spring is the best time for waterfalls but the high country is still closed. Summer everything is open but the place is packed with tourists. And Fall is gorgeous, the high country is still open, not crowded, but waterfalls are almost non-existant. If you're there during a full moon, watch it rise over Half Dome from Tunnel View. It's breathtaking! During the spring, hike the short trail to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls during a full moon and witness a Lunar Rainbow, ...Read More

Bridalveil Falls Day Hike

Attraction | "Bridalviel Falls"

Bridalveil Falls Day Hike Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Bridalviel Falls is a short walk from a spacious parking lot. It is the waterfall that can be seen from Tunnel View directly across the valley from El Capitan. Follow the paved trail in the southeast corner of the parking lot a few hundred yards til another trail branches off to the right. The trail is marked with a sign, but it doesn't say Bridalviel Falls so it's a bit confusing. After a steep climb through trees and rocks the waterfall will come into view on the right as the trail ends a way-too-small viewing area. During spring runoff, expect to get soaked with mist here!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 22, 2004

Bridalveil Falls Day Hike
Bridalveil Falls parking area
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
+1 209 372 0200

El Capitan

Attraction

El Capitan Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
El Capitan, the largest single granite monolith in the world, towers over 3000 feet above the valley floor. It is very popular with rock climbers and numberous people gather in the meadow beneath it to watch. At night, watch for small balls of light along its sheer face where climbers are resting in slings dangling from the side of the cliff. For the best photos, park at the pull-off shortly after the road becomes one-way heading into the valley. To watch the mountain climbers, park along El Capitan meadow on Northside Drive, the one way road heading out of the valley.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 23, 2004

El Capitan
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, California

Lower Yosemite Falls Day Hike

Attraction | "Lower Yosemite Falls Trail"

Lower Yosemite Falls Day Hike Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
This short walk puts you right at the base of Lower Yosemite Falls, the spot where Yosemite Creek finally reaches the floor of the valley after plummeting some 2,454 feet. Lower Yosemite Falls makes up just a fraction of that though, rising just 310 feet. In late summer, these falls are dry, but in spring they come to life in a deafening roar and soaking spray. The trail is paved to the bridge and accessible to wheelchairs, although help will be needed with a short steep section at the very end. The start of the trail provides the only view in the park of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls one right above the other. The swath of trees was cut here specifically for that purpose. The trailhead is in ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 23, 2004

Lower Yosemite Falls Day Hike
Shuttle Stop #6
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
+1 209 372 0200

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike

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Attraction | "Upper Yosemite Falls Trail"

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
The trail starts at the back of Camp 4 (aka Sunnyside Walk-in Campground) just to the west of the Yosemite Lodge on Northside Drive. The trail quickly climbs and you will have to negotiate several dozen switchbacks before you finally reach Columbia Rock after a mile. Although it's not signed, you will no doubt want to stop to admire the perfect views across the valley to Half Dome. Looking down it is amazing how far up you've climbed and how far you still have to go. Moving on you eventually round a corner to the first glimpse of Upper Yosemite Falls. This is the only place in the park you can get upclose photos of the falls. In spring you will get soaked with mist all the way through here. The...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 23, 2004

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike
Sunnyside Camp 4 near Shuttle Stop #7
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
+1 209 372 0200

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls

Attraction | "Mist Trail to Vernal Falls"

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
They don't call this the Mist Trail for nothing. During spring runoff, be sure to bring either your bathing suit or rain gear, because you will get soaked! If you don't want to get wet and are happy with a distant view, hike the moderately steep route to the Vernal Falls bridge. Along this route you will get an impressive view of Illouette Falls, hidden deep in a slot canyon across the river from the trail. There is no trail to the base of this fall although you can get to the top from the Panorama Trail. If you're brave, continue on from the bridge! After rounding a bend, the spray hits you and stays on through most of the 300+ steps you have to climb to the top of Vernal Falls. This trail is the mos...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 26, 2005

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls
Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park, California

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls

Attraction | "Mist Trail to Nevada Falls"

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Follow the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls as outlined in my Mist Trail to Vernal Falls tip. Beyond Vernal Falls, the trail levels out and offers great shots of Emerald Pool and Silver Apron. DO NOT SWIM IN THE RIVER!! Many people are swept over the falls every year. The trail crosses the river and soon starts another steep climb up several rocky switchbacks, along the base of soaring Liberty Cap. Watch your step here, as loose gravel can make footing tricky. At the top of the switchbacks, the trail splits. Head left for a set of restrooms and also to hike to Little Yosemite Valley or to the top of Half Dome or Clouds Rest. Go right to reach the brink of the Nevada Falls. Return the way you came, but be ve...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 26, 2005

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls
Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park, California

Mariposa Grove

Attraction

Mariposa Grove Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Several hiking trails wander through this sequoia grove. Most people will hike to Grizzly Giant and California Tree but that's it. As a result much solitude can be found if you continue. I find the upper grove to be more interesting anyway! I recommend hiking the grove all the way to the back at Wawona Point, but if you'd rather not hike uphill, then during the summer take the tram tour to the Fallen Wawona Tunnel tree and hike back to the parking lot from there. NOTE: The tram costs money. Check for prices at the ticket office.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 26, 2005

Mariposa Grove
Mariposa Grove
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
209/372-0200

Ribbon Falls

Attraction

Ribbon Falls Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Ribbon Falls is appropriately named. It's narrow and hard to spot, tucked in a little nook next to El Capitan. It's one of the last waterfalls to appear in spring and one of the first to dry up, as it only drains four small creeks. However, when Ribbon Falls can be seen, it is indeed an impressive sight. It is the highest single waterfall in the park and the highest single waterfall in North America, falling 1,612 feet from the top of the cliff before it hits land again. In contrast, Upper Yosemite Falls plummets just 1,430 feet. When combined with the middle cascades (675 feet) and the Lower Falls (320 feet), Yosemite Falls totals 2,425 feet in three separate falls. Ribbon Falls, because it...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 26, 2005

Ribbon Falls
Yosemite Village, next to El Capitan
Yosemite National Park, California

When To Visit

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Story/Tip

Nevada Falls Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Yosemite has so many different moods. When you visit will usually be determined by what you want to see. So many people venture to Yosemite in August or September and are disappointed to not see the spectacular waterfalls. Whenever you go, you will have to make some sacrifices. You just need to decide what you most want to see or experience and go then. Or just go twice! Winter brings with it snow. Yes it's California, but it's also the mountains. Yosemite Valley lies at 4,000 feet and does receive quite a bit of snow. The surrounding communities, Oakhurst, El Portal, and Mariposa, rarely see that snow though as they are around 2,000-2,500 feet. Glacier Point and the high country are closed, but...Read More

About the Writer

Ischyros

Ischyros
Mishawaka, Indiana

More Journals by Ischyros